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Rooted in Tradition


Acting early in the development of the town resulted in the securing of 3.8 acres of land right in the center of Tradition through a loan from the ELCA Mission Investment Fund. “It’s a gorgeous piece of property overlooking a lake,” Hartley said. And “it’s ripe,” said Maryanne Kehlenbach, mission developer in Tradition. “They are building and selling homes, and it is just so excit- ing to see this happening in Florida.” Newly ordained at the Florida- Bahamas Synod Assembly in May, Kehlenbach moved to Tradition one week later and began meeting neigh- bors. A week after that, she gradu- ated from the Distributed Learning program at Luther Seminary, St. Paul, Minn.


In her previous work in the bank- ing industry, Kehlenbach assited


with department start-ups, product development and network sharing. In becoming a second-career mis- sion developer, she realizes now that “this is what God


has been preparing me for in my pre- vious career and in all my life.” Kehlenbach was introduced as the mission developer to Immanuel’s members at their 25th anniversary celebration in January, when mem- bers rededicated themselves to mis- sion in Tradition. “They’re wonderful. They’re excited and enthusiastic. I’m thrilled,” Kehlenbach said. “It’s a new start with a launch team that will work with you.” Rita Gardner Tweed, director for


EDGAR R. TREXLER


evangelical mission and assistant to the bishop in the Florida- Bahamas Synod, “couldn’t be more pleased and excited that all of this has come together to forward God’s kingdom.”


At the same time, she sees the mis- sion pattern throughout the whole story of Immanuel—from America to Japan to Palm City to Tradition—and celebrates it.


“This is how the gift goes on and


God’s kingdom grows,” she said. “Once the mission in Tradition gets its growth rolling, they will in turn join with others, and lead the plant- ing of yet another new mission and keep the planting of new starts going, planting with partners, over and over again.” 


August 2013 29


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